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Do you feel identity theft happens to other people? I did. But then it happened to me. No, it wasn’t my social security number thank God. It was my credit card. I still do not know exactly how it happened, but a couple of months ago someone charged $600 on my credit card. I hardly use my credit card, so I immediately knew it wasn’t a charge I had done. Thank God I didn’t have to pay anything towards the charge, but it was a great inconvenience.

I had to close my account and open another one. I had to fill out a form, fax it in, and pray that whoever used my card didn’t have more information on me. I watched my bank account more closely to make sure there weren’t unauthorized transactions. I was nervous, a little paranoid, and somewhat scared. I have no idea how this "unknown" person got a hold of my credit card.

Here are some ways you can protect your identity.  

Keep personal information safe.
Lock up personal information that you have in your home.  Information that you have that is personal at your job, school or in your automobile lock up.

Keep mail secure.
Pick up your mail daily.  Take your bills directly to the post office or a public mailbox to be mailed.    

Protect your social security number.
Do not provide your social security number to anyone unless you contacted them.  If you know a company is using your social security for your account number, ask the company to use an alternate number.  

Use Internet safety.
If you use your credit card online look for "https" in the browser to indicate it is a secured site once they ask for financial information.  

Check credit reports yearly.
Look for mistakes and accounts that do not belong to you. Learn how to dispute errors.  To order a free annual credit report call 877-322-8228 or

Sharman Lawson a columnist on Fabulously40, and a financial coach, speaker, and author of the book 12 Steps to Eliminate Debt Forever! Visit her website: [Link Removed]

Sharmanl, Your links have been removed, please consider upgrading to premium membership.


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